What Is Biblical Marriage Counseling?

Marjorie McAtee

Biblical marriage counseling is a type of marriage counseling that makes heavy use of Christian spiritual beliefs and Biblical scriptures. Christians typically believe that marriage is a sacred, unbreakable covenant between a woman, a man, and God. Spouses in Christianity are generally encouraged to love, respect, and support one another spiritually, as well as in all other ways. Most Christians also rely on the scriptures of the Christian Bible for life guidance and moral advice. Biblical marriage counseling therefore generally draws upon specific passages of the Christian Bible, as well as Christian beliefs about marriage, to help spouses resolve their differences and learn to repair their troubled marital relationships.

A couple may receive marriage counselling from a priest.
A couple may receive marriage counselling from a priest.

Some of the techniques of Biblical marriage counseling are similar to the techniques of secular marriage counseling. Such counselors will typically encourage couples to treat one another with respect by avoiding verbal abuse and harassment. They will often help couples to understand one another's points of view. Biblical marriage counselors will normally work to help each spouse see their own, and the other's, behavior clearly. They will generally encourage couples to foster intimacy through compassion and developing stronger communication skills.

Those seeking Christian marriage counseling will seek a counselor who is well versed in the Biblical principals of marriage.
Those seeking Christian marriage counseling will seek a counselor who is well versed in the Biblical principals of marriage.

Most practitioners of Biblical marriage counseling will add Christian spiritual beliefs and practices to these techniques, which is what generally makes such counseling different from its secular counterpart. Christian marriage counselors will usually encourage couples to pray for one another and for the resolution of marriage problems, since many Christian consider God to be a type of partner in the marriage. Biblical marriage counselors will often give couples advice drawn from Biblical scriptures. These scriptures contain many passages that can be interpreted as relating to better interpersonal relationships and marriages. Christian beliefs about marriage and its purpose will usually be a central part of the therapy.

Most Christians rely on the scriptures of the Christian Bible for life guidance and moral advice.
Most Christians rely on the scriptures of the Christian Bible for life guidance and moral advice.

Advocates of this type of counseling generally believe it is ideally suited to the specific needs of the Christian marriage. Christian husbands and wives are normally expected to love and honor one another, and support one another in spiritual beliefs and practices. Divorce and separation are frowned upon among many branches of the Christian religion, so spouses are typically encouraged to resolve their marital problems, no matter how severe. Practitioners of Biblical marriage counseling usually receive much of the same training as practitioners of secular marriage counseling, though they often base their therapeutic techniques in Christian teachings.

Not all Christian counselors are licensed mental health professionals.
Not all Christian counselors are licensed mental health professionals.
Biblical marriage counselors emphasize the sanctity of marriage.
Biblical marriage counselors emphasize the sanctity of marriage.

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